A Groovy Neighborhood Guide to Cambridge Hub Central Square

Central Square is eclectic catnip for the Cambridge explorer.

Radiating out from the main drag of Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, Central Square is bookish Harvard Square's scruffier cousin: you know, the one who's squirreled away in the basement, working on something very clever and futuristic while dressed in a collectible jacket found at one of several local vintage clothing emporia. In case you missed it, we covered the amazing reinvention of the bicycle wheel by Superpedestrian, whose development lab is just around the corner.

Central Square's neighborhood grit only adds to its unpretentious greatness. It's super-eclectic—filled with English soccer, Indian food, vintage vinyl, artful graffiti and much more—and ripe for exploration.

Tapas at Little Donkey

Vegetable Paradise

A rather delicious definition of the buzzword 'glocal' can be found at Little Donkey, a global tapas joint driven by local market fare and lashings of imagination. Veggie Galaxy gives vegan and veggie fare a classic 1950s diner vibe while CloverHFI—part of the Clover Food Lab chain—sets a new template for delicious, meatless, local fast food. Apparently, bands eat free at Clover if they can prove they played at the nearby Middle East.

Cheapo Records

Vinyl and Togs

If you fancy creating something, head for the groovy neon signage at Artist & Craftsman Supply and all your material needs will be fulfilled. Great Eastern Trading Co. has an amazing range of vintage togs and costumes, from Hawaiian shirts to disco wear and biker jackets; Cheapo Records will fill any gaps in your vinyl and rock memorabilia collection.

Classic neon

Four Tons of Glitter

If you're a fan of first-rate mixology, head over to Brick & Mortar for a White Mercedes Coupe, Four Tons of Glitter or another of their wonderfully titled cocktails. The Cantab Lounge is a little more rough-and-ready, but no less enjoyable—Ben and Casey Affleck's dad used to tend bar here; and The People's Republik is a mischievous little dive with darts.

Central Square mural

Cheese and Culture

Cheesy delights from superlative grilled sandwich specialist Roxy's are the perfect accompaniment to vintage arcade fun at Roxy's Central/A4Cade. Legendary local rock venue Middle East must be experienced, no matter who's playing and Central Square Theater hosts two award-winning companies under one communal cultural umbrella.